Hello Qi Aerista Supporters!
Here's our regular bi-weekly update to our wonderful backers.
We are grateful for all the support and encouragement from our backer community since our last update despite our disappointing delay announcement. We will work hard as always to overcome our many challenges and deliver on our goals. Without your support, we won't have come this far in our journey to turn our drawing board concept into tea brewing reality (almost there).
In the past 2 weeks we have entered in-depth discussions with one of the largest kitchen appliance manufacturers in China. Their export numbers ranked No1 in China since 2007 across many categories including electric kettles, blenders, toasters and drip coffee makers.Last year they shipped more than 80 million pieces to over 100 countries worldwide.
This particular manufacturer provides a full line of service from product design, PCBA, tooling, testing, to certification that can expedite the manufacturing of Qi Aerista while meeting our cost target. So we are interested to work with them on our project and leverage their expertise and experience in making Qi Aerista a better product. We will continue our discussions with them and look forward to share with you more promising developments in our upcoming updates.
In addition, we have officially partnered with Innozen Design of Shenzhen, the innovation capital of China, on revising our product design to meet our new requirements on cost and size/weight reduction. They are a team of dedicated and experienced product designers with a proven track record that earned them a string of industry awards and accolades. Let's take a look at their corporate intro video:
We were introduced to Innozen about a year ago through good referrals and we have met and discussed about our project several times since. Their design team liked our Qi Aerista very much, especially our signature brew - thick and creamy Hong Kong-style milk tea.
Now the conditions are ripe for both sides to work together in bringing Qi Aerista's design and aesthetics to the next level. The Innozen team will focus on simplifying the design of the less critical parts (e.g. handle, lid, base) so that cost and size/weight reduction can be realized while giving our product an even more stylish look.
To help Innozen get up to speed with their design work, we have sent them one of our earlier Qi Aerista prototypes for evaluation. After opening the courier box, their design team easily figured out how to use Qi Aerista without any instructions given and made tea for themselves to enjoy (see video below).
According to schedule, the Innozen team will finish the industrial design work by mid June. Then it will take about 3-4 weeks to finish the mechanical design and electronics design. Afterwards comes prototype testing and preparations for mass production.
On the IoT cloud platform front, we are beginning our work this past week to link our Qi Aerista to the Gizwits IoT cloud. We have succeeded with our first step to use our new app (currently under development) to sync data with the IoT cloud backend. This short clip shows setting changes on our smartphone app being reflected at real-time on our network backend shown on the laptop screen. Next comes various firmware and app upgrades to enable a seamless end-to-end connection with the IoT cloud.
In the next 2 weeks we will see:
- Working with Innozen and other partners to finalize our new product design
- Continued discussions with current and prospective manufacturers on cooperation plans and due diligence
- Upgrading prototype firmware and app for seamless connectivity with IoT cloud platform
Together we are making Qi Aerista a reality!
Rick @ Qi Aerista